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Flushed condoms trigger sewage catastrophe

PATHUM THANI: Most people have been warned at some point not to flush condoms down the toilet for risk of blocking the outflow pipe and having a nasty overflowing toilet to deal with. But who has ever seen it actually happen?

The management of one short-time hotel in Muang District discovered, to its chagrin, that a steady input of second-hand prophylactics can block not only a toilet, but indeed an entire neighborhood sewage system, leading to streets flooded with filthy, condom infested water.

Short-time hotels in Thailand are known in the vernacular as ‘drawing curtains’ hotels for their signature feature, a curtain that allows couples to pull into a carport and enter their room completely out-of-view of prying eyes. Such hotels typically coexist quite peacefully with the people in the neighborhoods where they are found.

However, this was not the case for a short-time hotel in Pathum Thani’s Tambon Ban Klang in mid-October when the local tambon administration organization (OrBorTor) was called in to deal with flooding around a certain love hotel that was left unnamed in the report. The OrBorTor promptly sent a team over to pump out the water and see if they could discover the source of the unpleasant output from the city sewers. After a while, the pump suddenly stopped sucking. When the workers opened up the machine to get to the bottom of the problem, they found a gooey mass of used rubbers blocking the machine’s internal workings.

The workers, noticing the seedy motel’s sign flashing nearby, quickly surmised how the street’s sewer had become so clogged.

When the OrBorTor contacted the hotel management to request that they tell their customers to be a bit more careful with the detritus left over from their illicit trysts, the management abruptly denied that their establishment was in any way connected to the problem. Uncon- vinced, the OrBorTor authorities sent engineers back to the spot to check out the management’s story. Upon scrutinizing the effluent pipe leading from the hotel to the public sewer system, they found it awash with floating condoms. The OrBorTor, understandably keen to protect their constituents from having to put up with streets of condom-filled sewage water, hit the hotel’s owner with a temporary closure order, insisting that the ‘facility’ would have to remain closed until such time as it could guarantee there would be no recurrence of the unpleasant situation.

Predictably, the real losers will be the hotel cleaning staff, who will soon have a deeply disturbing sight awaiting them when emptying the bins.

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